Classic Dive Ha-Ra Club Has New Owners--But It's Good News (for a Change)


The sign at the Ha-Ra (one of my faves). Photo: ©

I have been wondering for some time what was going on at the ~HA-RA CLUB~: there have been rumors of it selling, it has been closed at odd hours, the shelves have been emptied of booze, and even the taps have been tapped out. It didn’t look hopeful. And now a liquor license transfer has hit the wires: the Ha-Ra is going to be under new ownership. The new partners are Scott Broccoli (Ace’s, The Pub at Ghirardelli Square, Dobbs Ferry), Tommy Whalen (Ace’s), and Wizz Wentworth (Amante).

Rick Figari’s dad originally opened the bar in 1943, and since son is busy being a firefighter, he just didn’t have the time and ability to keep up with the bar (he owns the building). But he was very specific about who he was going to sell it to—he didn’t want it to become an upscale cocktail bar, and he wanted someone who was going to preserve the soul of the place. I had a chance to chat with Broccoli, who said, “It would be wrong to change it. Some places deserve respect. This is one of them.” Whew.

They are going to give the 1940s-era dive some TLC, cleaning, painting, and light restoration, but they’re going to do it piece by piece and not in one fell swoop—after all, it’s already a great bar. And the bar top will remain intact (Broccoli says “I love the history of bar tops!”). He said they’ll have to see how the transfer and everything goes in the coming months, so we’ll keep you updated. I know I’m not the only one who will be happy to see the Ha-Ra restored to a good neighborhood dive status. 875 Geary St. at Larkin, 415-673-3148.